There's a chance of an economic silver lining to the Covid-19 cloud

28 June 2020 - 00:20 By Peter Leon

It is not news that the Covid-19 pandemic is having a catastrophic effect on SA's economic growth prospects. Business knows it, as evidenced by the release earlier this month of the lowest-ever RMB/BER business confidence index figure. To prevent severe economic decline we need to rethink our economy and identify measures to resuscitate it post-Covid-19. An imperative is to entice more local and global businesses to invest in SA, and to do so the country must rapidly commence implementing mechanisms to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI).

In the first part of our democracy, SA saw a widening of foreign investment protection, and from 1994 to 2009 it signed 49 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and ratified 22. Each included the classic investor protections. In 2008 SA ratified the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Protocol on Finance and Investment, which entitled investors from anywhere in the world to most of the typical BIT standards of protection after exhaustion of domestic remedies...

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